Street names:


Glue, Gas, Sniff (solvents); Whippets (nitrous oxide); Poppers, Room odourizers, VCR cleaner - some sold under "brand" names such as Rush, Bolt, Kix (nitrites)


What is it?

The term "inhalants" refers to chemical vapours or gases that produce a "high" when they are breathed in. Most of the substances used as inhalants, such as glue, gasoline, cleaning solvents and aerosols, have legitimate everyday uses, but they were never meant for human consumption. Inhaled solvents usually produce an alcohol-like effect, but with more distortion of perception, such as the shape, size and colour of objects, and distortion of time and space.


    •    Suffocation
    •    Recklessness:
    •    Sudden sniffing death (SSD): Prolonged sniffing of highly concentrated inhalants can cause a rapid and irregular heartbeat, leading to death from heart failure. SSD can occur after only one sniffing session, and when stress or strenuous exercise follows several deep inhalations.
    •    Liver damage, kidney damage, lung damage heart,
    •    Irreversible brain damage,
    •    Fetal solvent syndrome: (premature birth, birth defects or stillbirth).
    •    Loss of motor control
    •    Frostbite
    •    Nerve damage


Some long-term effects may be reversible, but others are permanent. When inhaled, solvents are carried by the blood and stored in fat tissue in the body.  If inhalant use is stopped, damage to the liver and kidneys may heal, but damage to the brain is almost always permanent.